Guenther Steiner: FIA’s black-and-orange flag inconsistency ‘a right mess’

Jamie Woodhouse
Guenther Steiner during a press conference at the Saudi Arabian GP. Jeddah March 2022.

Believing the FIA are showing inconsistency between teams, Haas boss Guenther Steiner says the black-and-orange flag situation is now a mess.

Haas launched a pair of protests after the United States Grand Prix, relating to damage to the cars of Sergio Perez and Fernando Alonso.

Perez was sporting a damaged Red Bull front wing, while Alonso had a loose right wing mirror on his Alpine which eventually fell off, although neither driver was shown the black-and-orange flag that would have forced them to pit for repairs.

Haas were frustrated as their driver Kevin Magnussen has been shown the black-and-orange flag three times this season for front wing damage, forcing him to pit.

The Perez protest was dismissed, although the other protest led to Alonso being given a 30-second time penalty, eliminating him from the points, only for that to be overturned when Alpine won their right to appeal on the grounds Haas had actually missed the deadline to protest.

Steiner said it is not good for the fans that the FIA are treating teams differently when it comes to the black-and-orange flag.

Red Bull's Sergio Perez leads the midfield fight at the United States Grand Prix. Austin, October 2022. F1 2022.

“The inconsistency continues,” Steiner told Sky F1. “I don’t know how long this can continue.

“It’s getting old, basically. We’ve got the black-and-orange flag three times this year and then somebody else didn’t get it and that is not right. I really hope this gets in control because it’s not good for the spectators that teams are treated differently.

“There is nothing more to be said than disappointment. It’s just about consistency. It’s a right mess.”

It was pointed out to Steiner the FIA will look into their use of the black-and-orange flag going forward, although he suggested that is of little use to Haas now.

Steiner also revealed race director Niels Wittich had told Haas they had an hour to lodge their Austin protests, though it is actually 30 minutes as per the International Sporting Code, which Alpine successfully used to overturn Alonso’s penalty because 54 minutes had elapsed.

“A little bit late for us now, huh? After we got it three times already,” said Steiner.

“They should have looked into it before, not now, because what we got penalised for you cannot make good. We potentially lost points and to change it now is no satisfaction for me.”

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